You may be required to install a breathalyzer – also called an ignition interlock device (IID) – in your vehicle if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California. Failure to comply with this requirement can have serious legal consequences.
However, drivers who wish to install a breathalyzer may be unsure how to begin this process. You can use this article to find out how to set up a breathalyzer installation in California. You can also focus on the functions of this device, the costs for installation, and the amount of time you’ll need to leave it installed with the Simmrin Law Group.
Requesting a Breathalyzer Installation in California
If you are convicted of a DUI and ordered to install an IID in your vehicle, you will need to:
- Complete any license suspensions you’re facing
- Pay any fees ordered by the court
- Enroll in an alcohol-treatment program
- Secure proof that you have SR-22 insurance
Once you have completed these steps, you may set up an appointment with an authorized IID installer. There are a number of private companies that can install IIDs in California. Depending upon your situation, you may want to contact companies such as:
- Smart Start of California
- Sens-O Lock
- Guardian Interlock
Make sure that you select an authorized installation company to reduce the odds that you will face additional legal hurdles following a DUI arrest.
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Preparing for the Installation of Your Breathalyzer
Once you have set up your appointment for the installation of your breathalyzer, you can begin preparing. When you arrive at your appointment you will need to present:
- Proof of registration for your vehicle(s)
- Two forms of identification
- Payment for installation fees and the first month of your IID lease
You will also need to provide the technicians with an official order from the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This order should state that you are required to install an IID in your vehicle(s). Note all you must install an IID in all vehicles you drive. In fact, you must install IIDs in all vehicles registered under your name, even if you do not operate them regularly.
Understanding the Costs for Breathalyzer Installation
Installation of a breathalyzer device in California typically runs around $75-$100 per vehicle. In addition to your one-time installation fees, you will also need to pay “leasing” fees. These fees will be due on a monthly basis. They often range from $70-$100 per vehicle.
Note that you will also be responsible for service and maintenance costs for your breathalyzer as well. The state of California requires professionals to service your IID every 30-60 days.
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Considering the Removal of a Breathalyzer
You may be able to remove your breathalyzer only after so ordered by the court or the DMV. California’s statewide ignition interlock device pilot program may require you to keep the IID installed for up to:
- Six months for a first DUI conviction
- Twelve months for a second DUI conviction
- Twenty-four months for a third DUI conviction
- Thirty-six months for a fourth DUI conviction
- Forty-eight months for a fifth conviction involving an injury or manslaughter
Once you are legally allowed to remove your IID, you will need to visit an authorized company. Generally, the same company that installed your IID will be able to remove it from your vehicle(s). Attempting to remove an IID on your own can have legal consequences.
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Reviewing the Functions of a Breathalyzer
The breathalyzer device is designed to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). You must breathe into the device before it will allow your vehicle to turn on. You will also be required to perform random tests while you are driving your vehicle.
The IID will record any “fails” that you have. These fails can lead to additional criminal charges. They may also “lock-out” your IID, requiring you to take the device in for a new service appointment.
Getting Help with DUI Charges in California
As you can see, the results of a DUI conviction in California can be very severe. Dealing with the hassle of an IID can be frustrating to many drivers. It is in your best interest to get legal help right away after you are arrested. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help defend you from DUI charges, working to ensure you do not have to install a breathalyzer in your vehicle.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group understand what it takes to help clients accused of driving under the influence. You can easily reach our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles to get help constructing a strong defense. Get a FREE case evaluation now by calling (310) 896-2723 or completing our online contact form.